In last week's episode of Sing to Inspire, we highlighted ACDA of Minnesota's Male Chorus Extravaganza and talked about how important it was to keep men singing together. This year, they focused on men singing together and it was an extraordinarily powerful event. I still get chills thinking about the experience of watching an intergenerational men's chorus of over 750 performers singing Homeland together.
After the episode was released, Josh Palkki, a PhD student from Michigan State University, raised some fantastic points that should be addressed. One of his questions was...
What does it say about the choral community that so much attention is placed on male choral singing? Where is the attention on women's choir festivals and professional women's choirs? Is this a product of our patriarchal American society?
It should be stated that ACDA of Minnesota did a similar event two years ago with women's choirs at the state conference and created a massive scholarship fund for female conductors, but Palkki's question still resonated with me. As a high school choir teacher, I was guilty of making decisions within my choral program based on male singing and gave a disproportionate amount of attention to my all male and mixed gender ensembles. This episode in no way, shape or form will solve any problems on this subject matter, but I honestly hope that it starts a conversation.
Something to Think About
How can we do a better job of highlighting women's choirs in the greater choral community?
What are best practices on getting young men to enroll in choir?
What are best practices on keeping them in choir?
Are there other things to think about regarding equity in the choir?
To hear the complete story in this week's episode of Sing To Inspire, click the audio player above.
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